Environmental Program Evaluation

Topical Interest Group


The EPE TIG has over 300 members who specialize in  environmental arenas  including education, energy, international and global environmental issues.  We share a personal and professional passion for the environment, and for promoting a stronger community of practice in environmental evaluation. The members of the TIG are an inspiring, resourceful, and dynamic community of evaluators – many of whom are leaders in their field. New practitioners learn from the experience of long time evaluators, and more established practitioners learn from the diverse perspectives of an ever-growing member base. Areas of interest include (but are not limited to): 




Evaluations of Conservation Biology              

  • Ecological monitoring and assessment (e.g., habitat or species restoration)
  • Human dimensions of resource management




Evaluations of Environmental Policy, Programs and Management

  • Policy and practice change initiatives
  • Program and policy effectiveness and environmental outcomes
  • Program and policy implementation across local, regional and national levels


    Evaluations of Environmental & Conservation Education
  • Environmental & Conservation Education in public and private school settings, and/or non-formal settings
  • Educational impacts of environmental and conservation education on learning

Evaluations of Energy Programs

  • Improvement of energy efficiency & conservation program management
  • Measurement of demand-side management programs 
  • Impact of social marketing and incentive programs on consumer behavior

Evaluations of International Global Issues

  • Education and will-building in support of environmental issues
  • International treaties, consortiums
  • Climate change practices, policies



Hello Environmental Program Evaluation TIG!

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the American Evaluation Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana soon!  

 Our TIG is currently recruiting more leadership and wants to hear from you! We’re currently considering starting up a new community of practice for environmental evaluators and compiling some shared resources to help folks new to environmental work get started, but we need more hands to make it happen. If you’re interested in helping us coordinate some more events and organize capacity-building activities, we want to hear from you!

 Questions? Email greta.landis@wisc.edu or join our business meeting after the conference on Tuesday, November 15th! Zoom link here and again below. 

Here’s where you can find us at the conference and beyond (the schedule is in central time):

Wednesday, November 9th

 Evaluative Thinking and Practice to Aid Climate-Related Migration and Displacement

 5:30 - 6:30pm in Strand 7

 Presenters: Rupu Gupta & Kristin Marcell

 Description: Relocation because of climate-related events like wildfires, flooding, and storms happens globally. Those most impacted are disproportionately people of color, whose presence and status in the places affected stem from historical injustices on multiple systemic levels. Supporting displaced populations is a complex, multi-sectoral process, involving community partners, government, private, non-profit, higher education, and others. Limited attention to equitable practices, cultural and historical contexts, community agency, and ownership plague current relocation efforts. Evaluators’ role in facilitating just and equitable relocation processes is not yet understood. This think tank presents an interactive session to brainstorm opportunities to strengthen relocation efforts with members of The Climigration Network (which connects diverse sectoral partners to support equitable, community-led relocation). After an overview of the context and current practice, small and large group discussions will explore: equitable partnership development, the interplay of multiple systems, community and individual level outcomes, future funding options, and capacity-building for network-builders.

Thursday, November 10

Assets-based approaches to environmental education evaluation

 3:30 - 4:30pm in Strand 7

 Presenters: Melanie Giangreco, Megan Ennes, and Rupu Gupta

 Description: How can we shift structures in the environmental field that exclude people? Even in attempts to be inclusive, evaluation can perpetuate deficit perspectives, viewing individuals from under-represented communities as lacking or needing “fixing.” (People from under-represented communities include those from racial/ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA+-identified people, individuals with disabilities, or any historically excluded group continuing to have lower representation in the field than in society overall.) This think tank will explore theoretical models using assets-based approaches to evaluate environmental education and civic engagement programs. Assets-based approaches are grounded in what students can do rather than weaknesses. By emphasizing the knowledge and experience that youth bring to environmental leadership, program participants can self-identify strengths and where they desire support. A facilitated discussion will include sharing preliminary findings from research using assets-based approaches, strategies for improving equity and social justice in evaluation methodology, and collaboration on developing best practices in decolonizing evaluation. 


Topical Interest Group (TIG) Fair and Reception

 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 pm

Come chat with TIG program chairs Rupu and Greta and meet others with interests and experiences in environmental evaluation fields! We’ll be tabling with the Disaster and Emergency Management Evaluation TIG and are eager to talk with you about the intersection of environmental advocacy in your work. Each of AEA’s 60 TIGs will be participating in the TIG Receptions, giving you an opportunity to learn more about their year-long initiatives and how to get involved. 


Friday, November 11th

 Bringing a Transformational Change Lens to Program Design and Evaluation

 8:00 - 9:00 am in Empire C

 Presenters: Rees Warne & Rhonda Schlangen

 Description: The climate change crisis and overdue attention to equity and social and environmental justice (along with a host of other destabilizing factors) make this an extraordinary opportunity for evaluators to midwife transformative change. Using a transformational change lens in our MEL work can help us—and those we work with—shift and reshape strategies and programs to be more inclusive and effective. Panelists will discuss ways that they (evaluators from foundations with regional and global approaches to climate change) are using transformational change lenses to support design of and learning from programs meant to jointly mitigate climate change and address multi-faceted justice and equity issues. Panel discussion and Q&A will cover transformational change theory, approaching a foundation’s environmental strategy refresh using a transformative lens, defining what climate change mitigation success looks like to people from different places in the power spectrum, and qualitative and quantitative indicators for a whole-of-society strategic approach.


Applications of Principles-Focused Evaluation for Sustainability and Agroecological Contexts

 3:30 - 4:30pm in Strand 7

 Presenters: Brittany Isidore, Amber Mase, Greta Landis, and Samuel Pratsch

 Description: Evaluation is a critical part of effective agricultural and sustainability initiatives, but many traditional evaluation methods are insufficient for understanding and addressing the wicked problems of our food systems. Dr. Michael Quinn Patton’s Principles-Focused Evaluation (P-FE) offers a framework to evaluate sustainability initiatives by their values and vision even in complex, changing systems. In an effort to expand the applications of P-FE, we invite evaluators with interest or experience in applying P-FE to agriculture, natural resources, and sustainability programs to join us in a robust discussion around 1) strategies to identify the implicit principles held by those working in these contexts, 2) ways to support principles while in practice, and 3) tools to measure adherence and impact of principles. We will offer some background and key questions from ongoing evaluation of US Department of Agriculture projects and discuss opportunities to use P-FE in environmental initiatives.


Tuesday, November 15th

Environmental Program Evaluation TIG’s Annual Business Meeting

5:00 - 6:00 pm Eastern time -  Zoom link here

 Join us for an hour of…  

  • Environmental evaluation networking 
  • TIG updates
  • An invitation to join our leadership team and roles currently open
  • Discussion of next steps and suggestions for capacity building for environmental evaluators

 Zoom link here or copy and paste the link below:


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Passcode: 086430

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